Working in the UK

A lot of students are interested in finding a part-time job – it’s a good way of meeting English speakers, of experiencing another side of life in the UK, and of having something to add to your CV. Others have plans for staying in the UK for a year or two, maybe also doing some further study at college or university. Yet others are planning to move here longer term, and find opportunities to build a professional career in the UK.

Whichever category you fall into, there are certain things you must do first. If you want to work in the UK:

  • You must be legally allowed to work here eg as an EU citizen, or a student on a Tier 4 visa
  • You will have to get a National Insurance Number (NIN)
  • You will have to translate your CV, and be ready to adapt it for different jobs
  • You will have to have any certificates ready to show a new employer.
Finding a job in Edinburgh is possible, but it can take a few months, possibly longer, if you are looking for a job in your own profession. You may have to prove yourself, by doing voluntary work in your own professional area, or working as an assistant, rather than as a practitioner.

Everyone has to start at the beginning, by getting a National Insurance Number. You’ll have to call 0845 600 0643 to make an appointment for an interview. The interview is usually one-to-one. You will be asked questions about why you need a National Insurance Number, and your plans for staying and working in the UK. You will also have to prove your identity, e.g. by showing your passport or Identity Card.

After the NIN interview, it takes about 10 days until you get your number. The next step is having a good CV (curriculum vitae). Usually, your teacher will advise on this. You can also go to the Careers Scotland office, situated near the school, and they will help you to prepare your CV and to look for a job.

Especially on the Intensive Course, there are often opportunities in school to practise interviews and other job-seeking skills.

Lots of our students find part-time jobs, maybe not the best job ever (kitchen porter, housekeeper etc), but something that will start them off in the working world here.

Caledonian students who have found more permanent jobs include:

  • Maria, who worked as a dance teacher
  • Elena who found a job as a pharmacist in a hospital
  • Antonio, who started as volunteer, and is now a surveyor with a national organisation
  • Albert and Francisco who both work in computing.
So there are lots of possibilities, and lots of support available for you from the school and other organisations, if you want to find a job.